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July 7 - 19, 2012
Girl holding fake doll in front of picture
"Souls," July 7-19, 2012
Credit: Artist: Ilona Szwarc

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Souls,” an exhibition of painting and photography by SVA students and recent alumni featuring contemporary approaches to portraiture. Curated by Richard Brooks, assistant director of student galleries, the exhibition will be on view July 7 -19 at the SVA Gallery, 209 East 23 Street, New York City.

Nir Arieli’s project Inframen, continues his work with modern male dancers. This series of black and white photographs concentrates on dancers’ bodies and probes beneath the performers’ skin by using an infrared technique to show details the human eye cannot normally see. Arieli is a recent graduate of the BFA Photography Department.

Gaia Danieli’s photographic portrait series Black and Light - In the Mood for Flemish, draws inspiration from 17th century European painting and the development of the camera obscura. Using classical compositions and dramatic lighting the artist photographs seated models engaged in traditional crafts to create pictures that have striking painterly qualities. Danieli is a recent graduate of the MPS Digital Photography Department.

Amy Davis’ color photographs of Chinatown street scenes capture the quiet and reflective moments that people experience when isolated from the chaos of the crowded streets. Davis is a student in the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department.

Using documentary photographs as source material, Nali Kwon presents small yet powerful oil paintings focusing on Holocaust victims. The artist employs rough, expressionist brushwork and gritty earth-toned color to boldly define her twisted figures in an attempt to describe the pain and suffering they endured. Kwon is a recent graduate of the BFA Fine Arts Department.

Alexandre F. Nunes series of black and white photographs titled Old Ladies, explores the solitude and sad reality of women living in a Brazilian nursing home. Shot at close range in uncompromising, direct light, the larger than life-size faces fill the picture frame and gaze directly at the viewer with warmth, honesty and wonder. "Although they feel unneeded, unwanted and of no use to anyone, there is still dignity and beauty to be experienced and recorded," states the artist. Nunes is a recent graduate of the MPS Digital Photography. 

In his small oil on canvas paintings of heads, Heewon Seo combines improvisation and revision through painting, scraping then repainting to explore a variety of emotional states. Recalling Frank Auerbach and Francis Bacon portraits, the muted palette of mauves, pinks and dusty flesh tones reinforces a sense of resolution through struggle. The result is a head suggesting a totemic mask that is simultaneously disturbing and awe-inspiring, like a survivor from a long archetypal journey. Seo is a recent graduate of the MFA Fine Arts Department.

Ilona Szwarc explores American girlhood and identity in her color photographs of young girls posed with their lookalike dolls. At once straightforward and psychologically complex, the portraits depict her subjects in their own environments, revealing both the similarities and differences of their lives and backgrounds. “As an artist, I wanted to examine how product creates culture,” Szwarc explains. “I felt this product defined and categorized American girls, future American women and that fact raises important questions about who gets represented and how.” Szwarc is a student in the BFA Photography Department. 

Free and open to the public
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